Every year, far-right activist David Horowitz brings together members of Congress and other conservative powerbrokers with anti-Muslim, anti-immigration activists at a Florida resort for a “Restoration Weekend.” This year, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and former Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka spoke at the event, as did at least one member of Trump’s “election integrity commission.” At least four members of Congress attended the event, including House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes.
Over the weekend, attendees had a chance to mingle with far-right activists who helped to shape the alt-right movement, including Ann Coulter, Gavin McInnes and Milo Yiannopoulos. Yiannopoulos, true to form, started his remarks by calling out the “overweight feminist losers” who criticize him.
Only a few videos of speeches have yet been released, but social media accounts of attendees paint a picture of the event.
Bannon, according to a portion of his speech broadcast on Periscope by an attendee, called Trump an “American hero” for giving up his great life to run for president and, of course, attacked the mainstream media, saying, “I like having the media as the opposition party because they’re so dumb and lazy.” Fox News host Jesse Watters, another attendee, played video on his program of Bannon calling Hillary Clinton “dumb as a stick.”
Among the attendees who approvingly tweeted about Bannon’s comment on Clinton was J. Christian Adams, a conservative legal activist and member of Trump’s “election integrity” commission. Adams also wrote a few tweets about his own speech at the event, in which he appears to have urged Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to resign so that an “ACTUAL supporter” of the president can have his job:
Laura Loomer, a right-wing activist who recently compared losing her “verified” status on Twitter to the Holocaust, attended the conference and asked Gorka what he thought of making Twitter “a public utility to preserve free speech.” Gorka responded that while “getting government involved in anything always leaves a bad taste in my mouth,” when it comes to the media, “at the end of the day if you’re not performing a public service, there are questions that must be asked.”
— Laura Loomer (@LauraLoomer) November 18, 2017
Yiannopoulos, the former Breitbart provocateur who received an “award for courage” at last year’s event–the same award Bannon received this year–gave a lengthy speech at this year’s event that he posted on YouTube. Yiannopouolos started things off with a dig at his feminist detractors, saying, “I’d be nothing without my haters, the banshee howls of overweight feminist losers, they heat my pool.” He threw in a tasteless joke about outspoken Trump critic Rep. Maxine Waters.
Yiannopoulos spent most of his speech glorifying his own role in fighting the supposed politically correct culture on college campuses, saying that “post-Milo,” feminists on college campuses “are considered a joke.”
“They’re more commonly characterized cruelly and meanly by people like me,” he said, “as lazy, ugly, single crypto-dykes, stinking of cat piss, living in hideous apartments in Brooklyn with friends they hate, jobs that will never satisfy them, dreaming of a day when they can cast aside the feminist shackles around their necks and get a husband and some children and be happy.”
Yiannopoulos attempted to laugh off the Buzzfeed report that showed how chummy he had been with white nationalists during his time at Breitbart, but said that after it ran he lost every ally except for Horowitz. (Bannon himself is reported to have said that Yiannopoulos was “dead to me.”)
Also at the event were Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes, Rebel Media owner Ezra Levant, right-wing social media personality Candace Owens, a.k.a. Red Pill Black, Joy Villa, and James O’Keefe. Along with Nunes, Republican Reps. Rob DeSantis and Brian Mast of Florida and Louie Gohmert of Texas appear to have attended.